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News Archive

Emergency Support Instrument Update
The UK has secured £31 million in funding through the European Union's mobility package to assist the UK's coronavirus response.   This will fund some of the costs associated with the transporting of equipment and items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the UK from overseas.  
Dingwall and Highland Marts Ltd - Sale 19 September 2020
FORT WILLIAM, Dingwall and Highland Marts Ltd., (September, 19th) sold 365 weaned calves and store cattle, 16 OTM cattle and 5 adult head of breeding cattle.   Bullocks (205) averaged 268.4p (+48.1p on the year) and sold to 352.9p per kg for a 170kg Limousin cross from 5 Burnside, Argyll, and £945 gross for a pen of 410kg Limousin crosses from Lurignish Farm, Appin..  
New Report On Covid Impacts On Highlands And IslandsThumbnail for article : New Report On Covid Impacts On Highlands And Islands
HIE has published a new report into the impacts of COVID-19 on the Highlands and Islands.   The report shows a disproportionate impact on the region compared with other parts of the country, including a forecast decline in GDP of between £1.5bn and £2.6bn.  
Halsary Windfarm in Caithness Now Under ConstructionThumbnail for article : Halsary Windfarm in Caithness Now Under Construction
Turbine parts for the Halsary Wind farm near Spittal began arriving at Wick harbour this week with more arriving on Sunday 20th September 2020.   15 turbines capable of producing 30 mg will be erected to a height of 120 metres to the blade tips.  
Retail Workers Went Back To Work In July, But Over Two In Five Hospitality And Leisure Workers Still Furloughed
The number of furloughed workers has almost halved from its early May peak of 8.9 million to 4.8 million in late July, but hard-hit sectors like hospitality and leisure are still hugely reliant on the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) that is due to end in just six weeks' time, the Resolution Foundation said today (Friday) in the response to the latest HMRC data.   The data shows that 4.8 million workers were furloughed on 31 July - the eve of employer contributions commencing - including 3.5 million workers who were fully furloughed and 950,000 who returned to work part-time.  
Highland Council Calls On UK Government To Use Its Powers To Help Reduce Fuel PovertyThumbnail for article : Highland Council Calls On UK Government To Use Its Powers To Help Reduce Fuel Poverty
The Highland Council is calling on the UK Government to help resolve the inequity of fuel poverty experienced in the Highlands of Scotland where people pay more for fuel and energy than other regions in the UK.   Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson has written to the UK Government's Minister of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth) The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP calling on the government to replace the current electricity distribution system with one that replicates that of gas and telecoms and share the cost of energy distribution equally across the UK.  
Rhoda Grant Msp - Economic Impact Of Covid-19 On The Highlands And Islands Laid Bare In Hie Report
Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant has said the Scottish and U.K.  Government's must now "sit up and pay attention" to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the region and has called for an economic "shot in the arm" to support local jobs and businesses following the publication of a report from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  
Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd - Lamb Sale 18 September 2020
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (September, 18th) sold 7,856 store lambs.   Blackface lambs (6,404) sold to £83 gross for ewe lambs from Talisker Estate, Portree Other breeds (1,452) sold to £77 gross for Mule lambs from Achnabat, Torness.  
Saving In The Time of Pandemic - Check Out The Credit UnionThumbnail for article : Saving In The Time of Pandemic - Check Out The Credit Union
2020 has not been the easiest of years and, for many people, saving has been the last thing on their minds - but there's never been a more prudent time to think about putting money aside for a rainy day.  Or a global pandemic.  
Unemployment Rising Sharply Before Furlough Scheme Ends, Showing Workers Face A Tough Autumn
Unemployment rose sharply even before the start of the winding down of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) from August, with young people at the centre of Britain's mounting jobs crisis, the Resolution Foundation said today (Tuesday) in response to the latest ONS data.   The headline unemployment picked up in the three months to July - from 3.9 to 4.1 per cent - driven by a sharp increase in the monthly rate of 0.6 percentage points in July.  
Why is the labour market data proving so resilient so far during this crisis?Thumbnail for article : Why is the labour market data proving so resilient so far during this crisis?
A report by the Fraser of Allender Institute published today.   This week we received new headline labour market data as well as a new analysis of the ONS's Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS) undertaken by the Scottish Government - the aim of this analysis was to weight these survey data to reflect the characteristics of the Scottish business base.  
Orkney Islands Economic ReviewThumbnail for article : Orkney Islands Economic Review
From The Fraser of Allender Institute.   This week we published the Orkney Islands Economic Review, commissioned by Orkney Islands Council.  
Theory test changes: 28 September 2020Thumbnail for article : Theory test changes: 28 September 2020
From 28 September 2020, the car theory test will include 3 multiple-choice questions based on a short video you'll watch.   The way the theory test works in England, Scotland and Wales will change from 28 September 2020.  
Coronavirus: advice for UK landlords including Scotland
A short guide to the legal issues surrounding landlords and tenants can be found at   The Scottish Government has this under review and changes may be made in coming weeks.  
Government Extends Support To Stop Business Evictions This Year - England
Commercial tenants will be protected from the risk of eviction until the end of 2020 helping businesses to protect jobs.   The government has extended support to prevent business evictions until the end of 2020.  
Bank Rate Maintained At 0.1% - September 2020Thumbnail for article : Bank Rate Maintained At 0.1% - September 2020
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) sets monetary policy to meet the 2% inflation target, and in a way that helps to sustain growth and employment.  In that context, its challenge at present is to respond to the economic and financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  
Finance Minister Has Deep Concern Over UK Internal Market Bill
Finance Ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have met to discuss a range of fiscal matters and voiced their collective concerns about the financial implications the UK Internal Market Bill will have on devolved governments.   Kate Forbes, Rebecca Evans and Conor Murphy expressed their joint concerns on the spending powers set out in the Bill which override the existing devolution settlement.  
Alister Jack Responds To Scottish Gdp Figures For Q2 2020
Scottish Secretary responds to latest Scottish GDP publication for Q2 2020.   Commenting on the publication of Scottish Q2 2020 GDP figures, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:These figures continue to show the impact coronavirus and lockdown has had on our economy.  
Migdale Hospital - What Constitutes A Ward Closure From NHS Highland's Viewpoint?Thumbnail for article : Migdale Hospital - What Constitutes A Ward Closure From NHS Highland's Viewpoint?
Highlands and Islands MSP, Rhoda Grant, is becoming increasing frustrated at the lack of transparency on the future of Migdale Hospital's Strathy ward in Bonar Bridge.   When the Sutherland hospital opened in 2011 it had 22 beds with two units - the Strathy ward, for older people with mental health problems, and another offering a range of in-patient services, such as palliative care, general medicine and rehabilitation services.  
Contract For World's Deepest Nuclear Clean-up Awarded At DounreayThumbnail for article : Contract For World's Deepest Nuclear Clean-up Awarded At Dounreay
Dounreay has awarded a major contract as the world's deepest nuclear clean-up job gets underway.   Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, awarded the £7.5 million contract for "advanced transition works" at the 65 metre deep shaft and silo to Nuvia and its partner Graham Construction, through the site's decommissioning framework following a competitive tendering process.